A whopping 2.38 lakh ATMs could be shut down by March next year, Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi) has warned. This could lead to demonetisation-like chaos especially for beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana as they withdraw their subsidies in form of cash via ATMs.
Last week, Mumbai-based trade association for outsourcers of cash machines CATMi said that changes in the regulatory landscape have made the business unviable and they could lead to shutting down of 50% of the country’s ATMs by March next year. It said that there is no option but for banks to bear the additional cost of compliances.
Although, Punjab National Bank, which is the largest ATM service provider, has stepped in to allay fear among people. The public sector bank said that there is no plan to shut ATMs by March 2019 or to increase charges for ATM services.
What are the regulatory changes?
In April this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that cash-in-transit companies should have a net worth of Rs 100 crore and a fleet of 300 vehicles. Cash-in-transit companies are firms involved in ATM replenishment, cash pick-up and drops. The central bank also asked them to use use lockable cassettes for more safety.
Moreover, the Home Ministry notified new rules which stated that ATMs could be replenished only until 9 pm in cities and that cash vans will not carry more than Rs 5 crore in a single trip. It also added that vehicles transporting cash should have GSM-based auto-dialers, security alarms, motorised sirens, tubeless tyres and at least two security guards.